New Castle News

Penguins

November 19, 2013

NHL Hockey: Pens erupt in third to down Ducks

PITTSBURGH — When Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma shuffled the lines in search of a spark for his slumping offense, putting Evgeni Malkin and rookie Brian Gibbons on the ice together wasn’t what he had in mind.

Still, he’ll take it.

Gibbons converted a slick backhand pass from Malkin for his first NHL goal at 3:56 of the third period, starting a late burst as the Penguins beat the weary Anaheim Ducks 3-1 last night.

Called up from the minors 12 hours before the opening faceoff, the 25-year-old Gibbons was thrown immediately onto Pittsburgh’s third line. He ended up on the ice with Malkin after the Penguins were caught in the middle of a shift change.

While watching Malkin do a full lap through the Anaheim zone, Gibbons sprinted to the slot, took the pass and sent a shot over Viktor Fasth’s right shoulder to break a scoreless tie.

“I was just trying to get to the net and bang home a rebound or something,” Gibbons said. “Somehow it ended up right on my stick.”

Gibbons earned his first NHL assist 62 seconds later when Brandon Sutter deflected Olli Maatta’s shot from the point past Fasth.

Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf quickly pulled the Ducks within one, but Sidney Crosby’s 10th goal of the season capped a flurry in which the Penguins scored three times in just over four minutes.

The outburst was a welcome development for a team that for all its considerable offensive talent has struggled to score recently. The Penguins came in riding a 1-4 slump, scoring just one goal in each of the four losses.

“It was actaully a good game for us,” Bylsma said. “We wanted to be in that tight game and stayed the course and came through with a couple of big goals.”

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots for Pittsburgh as the Penguins leapfrogged Washington to move back into first in the Metropolitan Division. The teams will meet in the nation’s capital tomorrow.

Getzlaf’s fifth goal in four games provided all of the offense for the Pacific Divison-leading Ducks, who earned just one point during a four-game East Coast road trip. Fasth made 24 saves but struggled in the final 20 minutes.

“I’m not seeing any secondary scoring from anybody,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. “When you don’t have four lines contributing scoring it’s tough to win.  I don’t care how good the guys are, it’s tough to win.”

Anaheim totaled just six goals in four games during a swing through Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Pittsburgh.

“We’ve been getting chances and stuff and we’ve been working hard, but like I said we’ve had sickness and injury throughout our team and we haven’t dealt with it well this trip,” Getzlaf said.

The Penguins have their own issues, particularly an offense that has looked spotty at best over the last three weeks.

Bylsma decided to experiment. He moved Pascal Dupuis from the top line with Crosby to the second line with Malkin, replacing Dupuis with Beau Bennett. Jussi Jokinen, second on the team in goals, was bumped down to the third line to give Sutter a little help.

The initial results were underwhelming.

Then again, Anaheim had a little something to do with it. The Ducks, in the midst of their first rough patch following a brilliant start, dominated the first period. They clogged passing lanes, gave Pittsburgh’s talented forwards little room to freelance, and controlled play for long stretches.

Pittsburgh didn’t record a shot on Fasth until 2:02 left in the first period, when Bennett managed to redirect a pass from Crosby into Fasth’s chest.

“They’re a big team,” Crosby said. “They got a long reach and they clog up the neutral zone pretty well.”

The arena roared in mock celebration, though for all of the Penguins’ offensive issues, the game remained scoreless thanks to Fleury.

Starting for the 19th time in Pittsburgh’s 22 games, Fleury turned aside several early scoring chances, including a pair of opportunities by Getzlaf.

The Penguins grew so frustrated at one point that Bylsma paired Malkin with Crosby and Chris Kunitz for a couple of shifts, looking to get something started

It produced better flow but nothing that found its way by Fasth.

Pittsburgh’s best chance came when Malkin skated behind the Anaheim net and deftly dropped the puck to a sprinting Kunitz, whose backhand shot banged off Fasth — who wasn’t looking because he thought Malkin still had the puck — and then hit the crossbar before rolling out of danger.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Penguins
  • Pens_Coach.tiff NHL Hockey: Penguins hire Mike Johnston as coach

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have insisted during their extensive front office overhaul that the on-ice product doesn’t need to change much for the franchise to return to the NHL’s elite. Small tweaks, not big ones, are required.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pens.jpg Penguins fire Bylsma, hire Rutherford as GM

    Jim Rutherford doesn’t believe the Pittsburgh Penguins need to undergo a massive overhaul to regain their spot among the NHL’s elite.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • ray-shero.jpg NHL Hockey: Penguins fire general manager Ray Shero

    The Pittsburgh Penguins hired Ray Shero as general manager eight years ago with the mandate to build a roster around two of the game’s brightest stars and turn ticker-tape parades through downtown into an annual rite of spring.

    May 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pens.jpg NHL Playoffs: Rangers cap comeback, top Pens in Game 7

    New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had trouble finding the words to describe goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. “He’s OK,” Vigneault said finally with a small shake of his head.

    May 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHL Playoffs: Malkin’s 3 goals power Pens to Game 6 clincher

    Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins finally flexed their offensive muscles. And they needed every bit of scoring they could muster. Malkin had a hat trick and the Penguins almost blew a four-goal lead before holding off the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 last night to clinch their first-round playoff series in six games

    April 29, 2014

  • Pens.jpg NHL Hockey: Jokinen leads Pens past struggling Kings

    Jonathan Quick’s Olympic goaltending audition for U.S. national team coach Dan Bylsma ended after three Pittsburgh goals in one rocky period.

    January 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHL Hockey: Crosby lifts Pens past Vancouver

    Sidney Crosby tied the score late in regulation and added the only goal in a shootout to rally the Pittsburgh Penguins past the slumping Vancouver Canucks 5-4 last night.

    January 8, 2014

  • penguins.jpg Penguins rally by weary Winnipeg, 6-5

    Evgeni Malkin scored twice in his return from injury and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-5 on Sunday afternoon.

    January 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pens.jpg NHL Hockey: Bruins snap skid against Pens with OT win

    The surging Boston Bruins said they weren’t fazed by Sidney Crosby’s last-second goal. They proved it in overtime. Torey Krug scored 34 seconds into OT and the Bruins beat Pittsburgh 4-3 yesterday night, snapping a seven-game, regular-season losing streak to the Penguins in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams.

    November 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • Pens.jpg NHL Hockey: Pens erupt in third to down Ducks

    When Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma shuffled the lines in search of a spark for his slumping offense, putting Evgeni Malkin and rookie Brian Gibbons on the ice together wasn’t what he had in mind. Still, he’ll take it.

    November 19, 2013 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results